Super Bowl Ad gets Focus on the Family Big Traffic for Tebow Non-Abortion Story

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 9, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Super Bowl Ad Gets Focus on the Family Big Traffic for Tebow Non-Abortion Story

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 9
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — The initial numbers are in and they reveal the Super Bowl commercial featuring Tim Tebow and his mother Pam Tebow exposed large numbers of people to the pro-life message. The ad alone reached a record number of people who watched the football and large numbers of people followed up online.

The new figures are out and they show Super Bowl XLIV was the first sporting event to ever exceed 100 million viewers.

That means 106.5 million people watched the pro-life commercial Focus on the Family ran during Sunday’s game — which bested 1983’s M*A*S*H finale and its old record of 105.97 million viewers.

That alone, or combined with the estimated $10 million in free publicity the ad generated before the Super Bowl, would be enough of a justification to say it was a smashing success in getting the pro-life message to the masses.

But Focus on the Family officials say they received considerable traffic on their web site by people following up from the ad and watching a longer video with the Tebow family that is much more explicit in terms of the conversation about Pam Tebow’s decision to not have an abortion during a crisis pregnancy situation.

The Focus web site logged 500,000 hits and 50,000 unique visitors just during the hour the Super Bowl ad aired. Traffic was also up considerably during the pre-game show when a different version of the commercial aired.

"Our traffic jumped to 40 times its normal volume," Focus spokeswoman Monica Schleicher said, according to the Denver Post. "In the hour during the pre-game (broadcast), when the other ad aired twice, our Web traffic was 20 times our normal volume."

Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, joked that the Focus web site was "crashing" and that the pro-life group had to add additional servers to keep up with the traffic.

Statistics from Alexa, which ranks web sites according to traffic, confirms the numbers.

For the last three months, Focus on the Family’s web site had been about the 27,000th most popular web site on the Internet. Over the last month that ranking climbed to just below 22,000. On the week leading up to the Super Bowl, the site rose to the 15,000th spot and, on the day of the Super Bowl, the web page was the 11,865th most popular on the Internet.

Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger said the pro-life group was pleased with the response to the commercial over the last few weeks and since it has aired. He told the Post Focus never intended to make an overtly politicized ad and that CBS would never have accepted one.

"We knew what was in the ad," Schneeberger said. "We never said it was anti-anything."

Schneeberger said the hoopla surrounding the ad before it aired, which had the abortion debate squarely on the pro-life side and even saw the New York Times defend the ad from abortion advocates, was beneficial.

"We won long before the ad ever ran," Daly told USA Today.

Other stats prove the success of the ad as Scott Briggs, director of business solutions at Alterian, say online voters are giving the commercial some of its highest marks compared to others.

And Focus on the Family snagged the game’s third-most "engaging" rating, according to Todd Juenger, general manager at TiVo. The rating came by examining which commercials had the highest viewership according to its system figures.

Also, since the ad aired, Focus has received 5,000 signups for its magazine Thriving Family

Finally, the main FaceBook page supporting the Tebow commercial — sponsored by Americans United for Life and — has surpassed the 250,000 supporter mark. It has generated tens of thousands of comments over the last few weeks from people celebrating the pro-life commercial.

Related web sites:
Support Tebow’s Super Bowl Ad –

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